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c) I am using LUA 5.1 on a fedora core 2 box.

apart from seconding the valgrind advice of the other poster, I'd also suggest to switch to a different distro for software development.

Fedora/RH applies a patch set to glibc that is the source of many issues. Particularly memory-related ones. I haven't heard of any issues with the latest version of FC, but FC < v4 (and the resp RH version at the time), had those problems.

Use Gentoo, Slackware or LFS. Basically, a source-based distro where you can know for sure that the system libraries are vanilla and where you can choose to apply patch sets to packages (or not to), that your software depends on.

Once you know you program doesn't show any issues on a vanilla-configured distro, test your it those on FC, RH etc. If it leaks memory on any of the latter but not on any of the former, that's highly likely an issue with the package dependencies on the resp, distro, not your program.